NEW YORK — A beauty firm doesn’t need to be the size of Estée Lauder, MAC, Avon or Revlon to show its altruistic side.
Those beauty powers are associated with cause marketing efforts, particularly the fight against breast cancer. Major retailers such as Target and Wegmans have established programs where a percentage of sales is donated to a charity. Target for example, is a major supporter of St. Jude’s Hospital. In total, Target donates more than $2 million a week to various groups.
Now, an entrepreneurial firm called Pookie Products is also hoping to do well by doing good. Pookie Products, based in New York, manufacturers lip balms conceived by three former sorority sisters from New York University. Pookie was born when one of the founders couldn’t find a lip balm that suited her needs. Formulas were created, packaging developed and business plans were written.
Part of the plan was to include a charity. "Right from the start, we knew we wanted to have a fund-raising effort. All three of us are philanthropic-minded," said Gianine Rothschild, a partner in Pookie along with Nicole DiPietra and Nanette Guarda.
The trio selected Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, a nonprofit AIDS research foundation. "We thought it made sense because we’re in New York where Broadway is so important." A flat percentage of sales is donated. "And we hope to grow so that can be a bigger amount," said Rothschild who added that Pookie is looking for more distribution.
Does supporting a charity make a difference with consumers? "Every few days we hear from someone who says the connection to Broadway Cares pushed them over to buy," said Rothschild. Also, whether due to Broadway Cares or Pookie’s marketing efforts, the lip balms have become popular with stars such as Rosie O’Donnell, Jennifer Garner and her husband, Scott Foley.
The cause marketing has also helped Pookie gain entry into retail doors — a hard feat for a tiny company. The lip care line is currently in 50 upscale pharmacies, specialty stores and salon stores including New York’s Zitomer. Industry sources estimate Pookie sales could hit $5 million by the end of 2003. It also operates a Web site.In addition to standing out because of its charity contributions, Pookie Products differ from many other lip balms because of an advanced moisturizing formula and clever marketing twists such as gift-giving themes. There’s an I Do lip balm, for example, in a champagne flavor for wedding toasts and an It’s a Boy and It’s a Girl gift tin for new arrivals. Pookie lip balms retail for under $8.
Retailers said cause marketing makes a difference with some consumers. "It is like being ecologically friendly," said one buyer. "There are those who’ll only buy from companies with a cause…and they are fiercely loyal."
Revlon, which is a major supporter of research for breast cancer, is planning more cause marketing in the year to come. Last year, Revlon donated 5 percent of the proceeds of a color promotional called Color America Beautiful to women and children affected by Sept. 11, 2001.
Eckerd Drug allocated funds from Mira cosmetics, its private label, to an awards dinner that singled out women who volunteer time to improving others’ lives.
Lori Konkowski, an Avon representative, said she’s proud of Avon’s efforts to support causes. "My customers who have been affected by a particular sickness really get behind products that donate money," she explained.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews